Hampshire Cricket History

Hampshire’s Beneficiaries
March 31, 2013, 11:15 am
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Nigel Gray was awarded a Testimonial last year – this differs from a Benefit which can only be awarded to current players. The difference is in terms of the number of events and collections an individual can hold. Nigel was the third Hampshire Groundsman to receive a Testimonial, following Jesse Hopkins in 1922 and Ernie Knights in 1975. Here is Jesse:



and a Groundstaff team photo from the 1930s showing Ernie in the back row (2nd right):

HCCC G'staff 1930s




March 30, 2013, 6:32 pm
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Peter notes that President Harry Altham was well wrapped up in the photo below. Perhaps 1951 was rather like 2013?


March 30, 2013, 5:24 pm
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Three men are showing without county sweaters. They are a very young Peter Sainsbury (16) standing left, Neil McCorkell’s son Dennis (standing right) and seated next to the President HS Altham is Basil Bowyer, captain of the 2nd XI in the Minor Counties Championship.

Champions: Warwickshire

Hampshire won just five matches but finished ninth. Neville Rogers was just short of 2,000 runs (1,934), with five centuries and Gray and Harrison passed 1,000 for the first time alongside McCorkell and Walker. Shackleton and Cannings each passed 100 wickets and Knott took 69.

RCL Court who had played before the war and subsequently joined the administrative staff left the county, Col Binny replaced him. MD Burden, M Heath and PJ Sainsbury joined as full professionals. Ray Pitman and Dennis McCorkell left for National Service and John Newman and Ray Flood joined the groundstaff.

Hampshire made a very good start to the season and after three consecutive victories Hampshire were briefly top of the Championship and they were not beaten until the eleventh match of the season – at Worthing. Poor weather did not help the side in the closing weeks.

During the match at Chesterfield, the two sides stood in silence to mark the death of Lord Tennyson. CJ Knott bowled to Sir Derrick Bailey (Gloucestershire) at Portsmouth, the ball struck and killed a butterfly which was later mounted and presented to Knott. In his final match for the county v Sussex at Bournemouth, N McCorkell was allowed to captain the side. When he retired, his total of 685 dismissals was a Hampshire record. Debnam played a few matches but did not return. Young batsman Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie  was dismissed without scoring in his single and debut innings. He played alongside Barnard, Burden, Sainsbury and Heath in the 2nd XI.

MG Melle who toured with the South Africans was the son of Hampshire player BG Melle. Derek Shackleton played in the fifth Test Match, taking Melle’s wicket. Shackleton also toured India with MCC in the winter and played in another Test Match. Neville Rogers was 12th man for England at the Oval.

There was a slight fall in membership and paying spectators and an overall loss of £800, not least because of the poor weather. Funds were boosted by £1,400 from the Whist Drives held during the winter

1950 (part two)
March 30, 2013, 4:52 pm
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Champions: (joint) Lancashire & Surrey.

Hampshire won just one more match than in 1949 but those seven victories took them up to 12th place. This was the start of a short period of significant changes – not least that Cannings joined Shackleton as opening bowlers. There were a number of departures: OW Herman, TA Dean, G Heath, G Dawson, J Bailey and JD Taylor left Hampshire, AC Shirreff joined Kent and RO Prouton joined the MCC staff. Mid-way through the season J Arnold’s ill health ended his career. As a consequence Hampshire fielded the youngest side in the Championship.

Arnold, Rogers, Walker and McCorkell passed 1,000 runs, while Shackleton and Knott took over 100 wickets and Cannings 83. Writing about the team’s prospects for the next season, Eagar admitted that this “inexperienced” side suffered particularly from inconsistent batting. He identified five young players as being the brightest prospects for the future, Shackleton, Harrison, Gray, Rayment and Debnam.

Hampshire’s match v Kent at Southampton was tied, with both sides batting for exactly 137 overs in the match and close scores in the four innings: Kent 162 & 170, Hampshire 180 & 152. Hampshire reached 152 after being 131-9, thanks to Knott and Cannings. Derek Shackleton was the first Hampshire player to be selected for England since J Arnold in 1931. He played against the West Indies at Trent Bridge, top-scoring in the first innings. NH Rogers was selected as 12th man for both sides in the Test Trial at Bradford where J Laker took 8-2.

In the match against the West Indians at Southampton the tourists scored 539-4 in 142 overs on the first day, Weekes 246* and RE Marshall on his first match in the county 135. There was no play on the second day and on the third NH Rogers hit the first ball for six and completed his century before lunch.

At Eastbourne Sussex needed 98 runs to win but were dismissed for 38 with CJ Knott’s figures 7-4-5-5.  D Shackleton took five wickets in nine balls at Leicester. CJ Knott achieved the ‘hat-trick’ for the Gentlemen v Players at Lord’s and took over 100 wickets.

Mr WJ Arnold replaced Mr W Pearce as Chairman. The joint benefit for five players realised £7,352.

New Display
March 29, 2013, 7:27 am
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Gilliats Board


We have just agreed this Board as a tribute to Richard Gilliat’s 1970s side. It will be displayed in the Derek Shackleton Bar which is increasingly bringing together images of our past Champions, with the recent ones in the Atrium.

This board was very kindly sponsored by Bournemouth & New Forest Supporters. Click on image to enlarge

Off we go
March 28, 2013, 10:14 am
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It’s kind of the sun to shine today but I’m managing to resist a visit to the Ageas Bowl as Hampshire meet Kent in the first pre-season friendly. With this cold weather forecast to remain for at least the first two matches (Leics & the university) I’m keeping warm while I can! Incidentally I’m not yet sure whether our University match this year is first-class or not; some are, some aren’t.

1950 (part one)
March 27, 2013, 6:26 pm
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1950b Worcs July


The first photograph shows a pre-season squad. In the back row from left are Vic Cannings, Hampshire-born who had joined from Warwickshire, and Alex Debnam who similarly came from Kent although with less success – he played 10 matches in two seasons. The three men in the centre of the middle row are pace bowlers Dick Carty (from Southampton), Malcolm Heath (from Bournemouth) and off-spinner Reg Dare from Blandford, Dorset. Dare made his Championship debut in 1950.

The second picture shows the team v Worcestershire at Dudley in July: (back) Rayment, Gray, Dare, Sprankling (scorer), Carty, Harrison Cannings, Walker (front) AGJ Rimmell, McCorkell, Eagar, Hill, Rogers. Harrison was 12th man. Rimmell played principally for Cambridge University. He had played in Hampshire’s non-Championship but first-class friendly v Surrey in September 1946 and almost four years later this match was his only Championship appearance, his only other match for Hampshire and his final first-class match

March 27, 2013, 10:38 am
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Champions (joint): Middlesex & Yorkshire.

Hampshire won six of their 26 matches (three in August) but dropped back to next-to-bottom – a disappointing season despite the fact that seven batsmen scored 1,000 runs for Hampshire, a record for the county. Neil McCorkell led the way with 1,871 runs at just under 40 and they also included Cliff Walker who had joined from Yorkshire. Alan Rayment was another new young batsman – he had played some 2nd XI matches in his native Middlesex, while local pace bowler Dick Carty joined the staff and made his debut. Derek Shackleton, for the first time, and Charlie Knott both took 100 wickets. Vic Ransom and George Heath played rarely and ‘Lofty’ Herman not at all as some of the senior players approached the point of retirement. Jim Bailey had another effective year but this was his last full season.

Hampshire entered the Minor Counties Championship, captained by BGW Bowyer and finished third with Jimmy Gray as their leading run-scorer. The New Zealanders required 109 runs to win the match at Southampton in just 35 minutes and won with five minutes to spare in 11.5 overs; Sutcliffe opened with 46 in 13 minutes. Middlesex scored 640 runs in their two innings v Hampshire at Bournemouth during which DE Blake in his second match (and first Championship match) for the county did not concede one bye. N McCorkell played as a batsman but retired ill in the second innings.

On 6 June a War Memorial was unveiled by the President, HS Altham. Membership dropped slightly while 11,000 fewer paying customers came through the gates and there was a deficit of nearly £2,000.

1949 (part two)
March 26, 2013, 6:48 pm
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When Sam Staples left Hampshire as coach to join the list of first-class umpires, the county made an important decision, replacing him with Arthur Holt. Holt is seen above (right) with Gerry Hill (centre) and his captain Desmond Eagar (left). The team photograph is unfortunately of poor quality but includes David Guard (seated right).

1949 (part one)
March 26, 2013, 5:31 pm
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1949 ? Duke of Edinburgh

On 19 September, Hampshire played a one-day, single innings match against the Duke of Edinburgh’s XI at Bournemouth – 10,000 spectators attended the match, to raise funds for the National Playing Fields XI. The Duke’s XI won by one wicket when the captain dropped RWV Robins. The Duke of Edinburgh dismissed Gilbert Dawson (c Brown 31) and was bowled by Gerry Hill after scoring 12: Hampshire 254-8 dec (61.3 overs, Rogers 93), Duke’s XI 255-9 (48.4 overs, Squires 80).

(Above) The Duke, with Desmond Eagar meets the Hampshire XI (left to right) Dick Carty, Cliff Walker, Derek Shackleton, Gilbert Dawson, Neville Rogers, Gerry Hill, Neil McCorkell, John Arnold, Jim Bailey, Charlie Knott.

The players have line-up in order of seniority, amateurs first, with Carty and Walker, the latter having joined from Yorkshire, as the ‘new boys’.